Seriality in Transmedia Storytelling: A Case Study of Halo



This article posits that the concept of seriality is central to understanding and examining how transmedia projects balance between the need for the core medium to be understandable on its own while also making sure that transmedia extensions enhance the audience’s narrative experience. First, in order to establish the main features of serial storytelling the paper contemplates seriality in contemporary television series, drawing extensively on the work of television theorist Jason Mittell. Second, these features are explored within the context of transmedia storytelling with a focus on how seriality across media affects the process of narrative comprehension. What then follows is a close reading of texts in the Halo transmedia franchise from a cognitive perspective and its transposition to narrative. The analysis shows that serialization across media, especially event serialization, creates narrative gaps in the Halo video games, the core texts of the franchise. To help the more casual fans to fill in these narrative gaps, the games feature internal redundancy in the form of diegetic retelling that transforms narrative enigmas into narrative statements.

Keywords: Transmedia Storytelling, Seriality, Narrative Comprehension, Video Game, Halo

DOI: 10.24193/ekphrasis.22.9